The Capesize market surged this past week to a three month high, as a stronger outlook for the market took hold. Opening the second full week of the year at $21,131 the Capesize 5TC peaked mid-week at $26,489, before closing down to end the week at $23,989. Charterers managed to take back a little influence dipping the index. But fixture activity was certainly weaker at weeks end. The Transpacific C10 settled the week at $21,667, with the West Australia to China C5 dropping -.522 on Friday to $8.814. For most of the week the C10 was more in line with the Transatlantic C8, which currently stands at $29,475. But it has now realigned closer to the Brazil to China C14 at $18,664. Not often is such a divide seen between the C10 and C14, which can in part be traced back to the velocity of the recent surge. Rates now appear to be calibrating themselves before the next move, whether up or down remains to be seen. It was heard in the market that Brazilian charterer Vale has had a fire at their Pier 4 South terminal at Ponta da Madeira causing scheduled vessels to be redirected. The severity of the fire and any damage is unknown at this stage.
Following the frenetic start to the New Year so far, the Panamax market this week appeared somewhat in a state of flux. As FFA values tumbled, the physical sentiment in turn became cautious. And, despite overall fundamentals remaining intact, some of the early tonnage were forced to concede softer numbers. Trans-Atlantic rounds topped the early part of the week in the low $17,000’s with robust Baltic demand impacting tonnage count off the continent. However, it had drifted by the end of the week to closer to mid $16,000’s. East coast South America started the week strongly but became under pressure midweek as early tonnage build up started to impact. Similarly, in Asia, the NoPac and Australian round trips peaked in the low-mid $13,000’s on Wednesday. But with some evident fixing and failing, it had petered out to $12,750 region with the bid/offer spread widening. Period news included $13,500 getting agreed on a couple of occasions for 82,000-dwt types delivery Far East.
A robust week for basins, although a lack of fresh enquiry from the US Gulf area saw an easing of rates there. The south Atlantic demand improved and an Ultramax was fixed for east coast South America to China in the low $15,000s, plus low $500,000 ballast bonus. A lack of prompt tonnage from the Continent saw rates improve from both there and the Mediterranean, with scraps runs to the east Mediterranean going in the $20,000s. There were stronger rates from Asia with a good supply of cargo in all areas. The Supramax size saw in the mid teens for trips delivery Singapore via Indonesia to China. From the Indian Ocean there was sustained support a 57,000-dwt fixing delivery east coast India redelivery China at $15,000. Period remained active with a 63,000-dwt covering three to five months from the Black Sea at $14,000 and a 63,000-dwt open east India covering three to five months at around $13,500.
BHSI moved into positive territory for the first time this week since the start of the year. Overall activity levels where slightly low compared with the larger sizes in the Atlantic but an improvement from the Continent was evident. A 37,000-dwt open spot in north Spain was fixed for a trip with scrap cargoes to east Mediterranean at $11,000 in mid week. But as the week closed, a 34,000-dwt open Immingham mid January was fixed for a similar run at $13,000. In the Pacific, brokers saw more coal movement from CIS and steels from South Korea / China to Southeast Asia this week. Two 32,000-dwt open CJK and South Korea respectively were both fixed for a trip to Southeast Asia at $9,250. A 28,000-dwt open Japan, meanwhile, was booked for a similar run at $9,000 level.